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ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Neurological Disorders Resources. Treatment and care for pets having pain or trouble walking or standing due to spinal injuries or neurological disorders like IVDD, FCE and DM.
kh12265
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ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by kh12265 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:15 pm

Hi all-new to the forum. My dog was just diagnosed with ANNPE. It was very sudden-she was playing fetch at the park and her back legs just buckled under her when running. We rushed her to the ER vet since it was after hours and a day later they were able to do the MRI and diagnose her. Both of her back legs were affected-she was paralyzed there when we dropped her off. She just got home and is still very groggy but seems glad to be here.
I had never even heard of ANNPE before this and wanted to hear some stories of others who have dealt with it. She’s already going pee on her own-just in a weird position since we have to hold her up with the help em up harness. She can hold her back legs straight, seemingly putting a tiny bit of weight on them, and will try to “walk” with the harness on but her toes tend to bend under a bit. Her neurologist said that she’s had a deep pain sensation this whole time which is good. I know it’s super early in her recovery process, but the past few days have been so stressful, sad, and exhausting so it would be great to hear some stories and advice from others.

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CarolC
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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by CarolC » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:45 am

Hi kh12265,

:gang:

In the study quoted below, 99% of ANNPE dogs regained the ability to walk, and in 83.6% you could still tell there must have been a past injury by the way they walked. It says it is possible there will be bowel incontinence, but over 75% of dogs did not even have that.

Dogs don't care if they are walking like a show dog or not. They don't care how it looks, they just care that they get where they are going.
https://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/181/11/293 wrote:Abstract

Presumptive ANNPE and FCEM were diagnosed in 157 and 44 dogs , respectively. Ambulatory function was regained in 99 per cent of cases, with persistent motor deficits in 83.6 per cent and 92.5 per cent of dogs with presumptive ANNPE and FCEM, respectively. The presumptive diagnosis was not associated with motor function recovery, recovery times or urinary continence. Faecal incontinence was five times more likely in dogs with presumptive ANNPE (23 per cent) compared with presumptive FCEM (7.5 per cent).
If your dog is urinating on her own, that is super encouraging. I assume she is a large breed if you are using the Help em up harness. If you have any questions about caring for a large down dog, please don't hesitate to ask.

I don't know if the vet discussed doing physical therapy with you. especially hydrotherapy. PT can be done professionally or at home. I imagine you've already spent quite a bit on the MRI, but if you can afford it, getting some appointments at a rehab place that has either a swimming pool or an underwater treadmill is worth the money. There is a reflex in dogs where if they move their front legs it fires signals to the hind legs, which can happen either swimming or on an underwater treadmill. The benefit of the water is, it supports the dog while the dog cannot bear weight yet. It is an effort to get a large dog in and out of the car for appointments, but if you can handle it (physically, financially, and time-wise) it would likely help. The physical therapist will probably also give you a list of exercises to do at home, which is very helpful.

People have also rehabbed dogs themselves in swimming pools, lakes, and spas when the weather is warm enough. If you are using a swimming pool, you may need 2 people in order to get a very large dog back out. Having either a harness or a flotation vest with a handle on the top gives you something to grab to lift the dog out.

It is fantastic that she is trying to take little steps with her hind feed. :trophy: When the toes turn under it is called 'knuckling'. That is totally normal and will probably continue for a while until she learns to place her feet again. Some dogs will scrape the tops of their feet during recovery, but you get through it. Some people protect the feet with dog boots, some people just nurse the scrapes. There are special lightweight dog boots that will help her keep her toes in the right position (not turned under). Let me know if you want links or pictures.

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FYI
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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by FYI » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:07 am


kh12265
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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by kh12265 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:03 pm

Carol-not sure how to directly reply to you but thanks so much for all of the info! She’s a 60 pound pit bull, so the help em up harness has been a lifesaver. She’s about 5 years old. She seems even better today, we took her out to pee and my boyfriend walked in front of her with some treats. She was moving pretty fast to get to him and moving her back legs really well! She’s also signaling to us when she wants help moving into a different position or wants to go outside. As long as we help her with her back end she can pretty much go where she wants. I have had some trouble getting her to drink water but she’s eating very well, so I’ve been mixing water into her food.
As far as PT, the vet sent us home with things we can do ourselves. I was thinking of looking into hydrotherapy as well, but I’m not sure how well she’d do with that since water kind of freaks her out.
The links for feet protection also really help out, I’ll definitely check those out. I’m really hopeful for her recovery, she already seems to be making baby steps and it’s only been a day. I’m a little worried for when I have to go back to work, but I can come home throughout the day to check on her. We also got a crate for her but I found it’s pretty difficult to move her in and out of that, so I think we’ll try a playpen instead so she’s not trying to move too much if we’re not here. I have a camera that I can watch her on as well. I’m sure she’ll be fine when we work, but of course I’m just worried about leaving her alone at this point. She’s been with me throughout all my years of college and a lot of hard times, she’s taken care of me all this time and now it’s her turn. Thanks again!

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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by CarolC » Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:11 pm

They say a dog carries 60% of their weight on the front feet and 40% on the hind feet. So with a 60-lb dog, you are lifting about 24 lbs when you support her hindquarters. Good that you got a harness. It's much easier to manage with a good harness like you have, instead of trying to hold onto a big handful of bath towel to carry 24 lbs up and down steps and around the yard.

I agree, it's really awkward and probably not safe for the caregiver's back to be getting a 60-lb dog into and out of a wire crate. It's not a great idea to be bending over and trying to support the weight in through the doorway of a crate. It's risking a back strain. The playpen idea will be much easier. I assume you mean a playpen such as an exercise pen, like in these pictures:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=20576&p=104224#p104224

I'm not sure about the water, either. My experience is, they introduce your dog to it gradually, which means the first few sessions the dog will not be getting as much actual swimming or walking on the treadmill, but they will get some other exercises during those sessions, too. It's worth it to build up gradually so the dog gets used to the idea and can then do PT. With my dog, her first session in the treadmill was 5 minutes, the second session 10, the third 15, and so on. My dog didn't happen to like being in the water at first, but she came to love it. I would think, if you want to try the hydrotherapy, maybe let the therapist determine whether the dog is totally against water, or if she will adapt with time and treats.

Some of the boots that keep the toes from knuckling have to be ordered through a vet or therapist, I don't know about all of them. I guess they want to be sure they are being used for the right medical conditions under veterinary supervision, but that's fine. I think they are sold one boot at a time, not in pairs, so double-check how many you are getting if you decide to order her some.

That is great if you have a puppy cam and can watch her, and really great if you're able to get home during the day if needed. It is hard to leave them both for practical reasons and also because somehow there is a stronger tie between you and your pet at a time like this, which doesn't let you get as far away or turn your attention to other matters for long. During the first days/weeks it seems like you spend most of your time thinking about your pet, and she's in the back of your mind even when you are busy with something else. Your mind is trying to figure out all the details of the situation, and the best way to do everything. The first weeks are the most stressful, but after a while you have a good routine and it gets easier.

I'm glad they gave you exercises to do. If she's already moving her back legs pretty well, that sounds very encouraging. Seeing even little improvements is what keeps you going! :wink:

kh12265
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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by kh12265 » Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:33 pm

Thanks for another helpful reply Carol! I really appreciate it. Today is the first day she seems like she’s getting back to her normal personality. They had her on quite a few pain meds at the vet while they tried to figure out what she had. Since they said she’s likely not painful, we discontinued them and she seems a lot less groggy today. We’ve gotten a lot of tail wags today! She can now hold most of her own weight standing up outside, but leans a little to one side. She stood up by herself once today! She squats in her normal position to go to the bathroom. We live in an apartment building and have a set of about 4 stairs leading up to get outside. She’s now able to get up these with help, and she also wanted to get on the couch today and was able to do this with a little boost. Her feet are knuckling less today, and she seems like she’s correcting them better when they do. She also wants to stand and eat/drink rather than us bringing it to her, so we’ve been walking her over to her bowls to do that.

I wanted to keep her progress updated here because when I first found out she had ANNPE I felt like I had a hard time finding people with dogs who had been through this. This forum had the most personal stories I could find and that really gave me peace of mind. I feel a lot more hopeful today!

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CarolC
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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by CarolC » Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:37 pm

Your story will definitely help people in the same situation. I did not realize you were on the 4th floor. :shock: Yikes! That is a lot of stairs with a big dog. Isn't it great how dogs can tell you what they want, if you just listen? And then you can work together as a team.
:angel:
I'm very glad she is recovering so quickly. She stood up, can squat, is managing the stairs, and fixing her feet. Woohoo!!! It sounds really good!

:cheerleader: :yay: :ecstatic: :hurray: :cheerleader:

One thing to keep in mind with spinal injuries is, recovery continues for a l-o-n-g time. You are seeing a lot of improvement right now, but if by chance you still notice some deficits in the coming weeks or months, just remember the nerves can continue to heal and she can improve...for years.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11816

Part of the issue with not finding a lot of stories about dogs who had ANNPE is that it's a relatively new diagnosis. From what I can tell (not being a vet or anything medical) they used to diagnose IVDD and FCE. IVDD was divided between 2 types of disk problems (Hansen I and Hansen II). They recognized there was another type of disk injury (a high velocity low volume disk extrusion) that had some similarities to both disk disease and FCE. Some sources called it Hansen III, but eventually they began calling it ANNPE and in the past decade you're hearing it more.

Very glad to hear so much progress so fast! It sounds like she's doing super well! :trophy:

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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by critters » Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:37 am

:whale:

kh12265
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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by kh12265 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:28 am

I meant a set of 4 single stairs, not 4th floor haha! Thankfully we’re not dealing with that :heat: Thank you for that info about ANNPE, that’s very interesting. Explains why I had a hard time finding a lot on it!
This morning she actually stood and walked a bit by herself, wobbly of course but she still did it! She seems to be doing very well holding her own weight, her balance is just off still. Of course I’m happy she’s improving so quickly, but we’re also prepared for a long road ahead. Before this she was walking almost 5 miles a day with us and would run around for an hour at the park with her ball-we’re definitely not expecting that same dog back any time soon, and that’s okay! She’s tolerating all of her at home physical therapy really well, and I’m planning on looking into hydrotherapy for her today.

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CarolC
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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by CarolC » Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:57 pm

Oops! Sorry I misunderstood. You wrote it clearly, I just read it wrong, I'm sorry. Four steps is WAY better than 4 flights. I would think it must be helpful that she was so well conditioned and athletic when this happened.

If you get her into professional PT, they will probably work on her balance as part of the program. They have special equipment they can use. Here are some examples of canine PT. If you watch the videos on this page I don't think you have to watch any ads.

https://www.calanimalrehab.com/therapeu ... rcises.htm

It shows a large peanut ball/balance ball, or a rocker board. Further down the page is a very short video of a balance board/wobble board. I do not know if they will do these exercises, but they will know what is appropriate.

One balance exercise you might be able to do at home without equipment is weight shifting. With your dog in a standing position, you simply press on her hip to sway her to one side an inch or two, then press on her other hip to sway her to the other side. It makes them bear more weight on each leg in turn. You might want to ask the therapist/vet if this is appropriate for your dog, and how many reps.

kh12265
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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by kh12265 » Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:45 pm

She’s walking by herself! :banana: I’m honestly amazed. This morning she still needed quite a bit of help getting up but was holding a lot of her own weight. When I got home today she got up by herself and greeted me at the door (my boyfriend was home with her so she got to stay out). I took her out to go to the bathroom and she needed no help at all to walk! She needed some support squatting to pee but that’s to be expected. Im still going to get her into physical therapy since I know she’s still a long way from being 100%, if she ever is, but I’m so grateful today :hurray:

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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by CarolC » Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:32 pm

Woohoo!!!!!

I was looking at the title of your thread.

Success Stories?

I think you just wrote one! :D

:newyear: :cheerleader: :bounce: :chicken: :clap: :snoopy: :elephant: :applaud: :chick: :dancing: :bounce: :cheerleader: :party:

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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by critters » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:45 am

:yay: :hurray:

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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by CarolC » Sat May 01, 2021 12:33 pm

I just thought of something I haven't thought of for a while. First I was thinking how much your dog might like to go to the dog park again, but then I thought, it's a judgment call. There was a thread here a long time ago about attacking the disabled. It seems some dogs get attacked when they are disabled, even though it wouldn't happen if they weren't. I'm thinking if it was my dog, I'd probably want to be careful with her around other dogs where you don't know how they'll react, until she's got her confidence back. Fortunately she's recovering quickly. I don't know, just a thought. Here is a link to that discussion. The background (first post is long) is that a disabled dog named Porkchop was being fostered, and another dog in the family attacked him.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1738

kh12265
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Re: ANNPE Diagnosis-Success Stories?

Post by kh12265 » Sat May 01, 2021 12:40 pm

Thanks for letting me know that Carol! That’s really interesting. I don’t really trust dog parks anyway so thankfully I don’t think we’ll be doing that any time soon. The park we take her to is actually just a school park where they allow dogs after school hours and we usually don’t see anybody there which is awesome! I really appreciate that though as I’ll definitely be more careful seeing other dogs out and about!! Thanks for thinking of us :D

She’s still doing well, her walking seems to improve a tiny bit each day. I talked to her neurologist and he recommended setting up a meeting with their rehab team to change some of her physical therapy now that she’s walking-to help with balance and such. He said she should still lay low for the most part and recommended 5 minute walks for now, and building up by 5 minutes each week. She seems pretty content with that since she’s tiring out pretty easily these days. I’m sure it’s hard work basically learning to use those legs again!

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